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How to Train a Search Dog

The initial step in search dog training is finding a suitable dog – as much as possible, find a puppy. – and then learn how to train a dog! Rescued dogs are not excellent preferences. They may have past issues that will make your training a little hard to carry out. Although you can choose among any breed, it is best to select from those breed with large noses. Being trained as search dogs, they would need to have a great ability to smell. Dogs with greater noses have more capacity to detect scents.

You should also consider the dog’s socializing level. This means that the puppy is well-exposed to all types of phenomenon. Introduce your puppy to the world at a very early stage – from urban scenarios to the wilderness, to big crowds, to storms and noisy places. Train him to have affection for people and make him understand that most of the happiness that it receives comes from contact with people. This is very important because basically, your goal here is to teach your dog to look for people.

Does your dog follows an object in motion of fetches a plaything that you’ve thrown? Does he flee from other dogs or cats or is he scared of loud sounds? Is he naturally brave or becomes afraid if he goes with you to strange places? Will he goes after toys even if they are difficult to retrieve?

Search dog training starts once you arrange a puppy runaway. Get to be the runaway person during the first few occasions. Always use a harness to avoid choking your dog when he struggles. If you notice that your dog doesn’t struggle, it is best to find another dog. Get someone to hold the puppy. Choose a windy day to execute this training. Know which direction the wind comes from; you will run towards the wind away from your dog. After giving him a lovey and a smooch, run away from him around 30 to 100 feet. The distance will vary according to your dog’s size. Look somewhere for any bush or grass where you can hide yourself. The person holding your dog will then let go of him and command him to ‘search!’ He will then go after you quickly. Once he finds you, give him positive reinforcement in the form of belly runs and kisses. Food is less preferable, but if this is the sole thing that will encourage him, you can give him food.

Ideally, you should do the puppy runaway two to three times in a week, using different people as the search victims. At these times, you will be the one to handle your dog. Don’t move to another level if you are still unsure whether or not your dog understands the words ‘search’. Add some obstructions from time to time such as slight wind so that he will be able to utilize his nose instead of just going blindly after the person. Try not to let him see the direction where the person runs away. Once you are sure that he is making use of his nose and he understands clearly what ‘search’ means, you can go on to the next level.


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